Stepping Stones to Health Care Jobs
While the highest-level health care jobs require advanced degrees and years of training, most health care occupations don’t require a college degree at all.
|These students are training to be certified nurses’ aides at Hostos Community College in the Bronx.|
Some 47 percent of workers in nursing and residential care facilities have a high school diploma or less, as do 20 percent of hospital workers. The New York Alliance for Careers in Health Care is a new partnership of trade associations and the largest health labor union that will prepare workers for these jobs.
The Alliance asked the trade associations to identify the workforce needs of their members—
hospitals, community health centers, and nursing homes. The associations reported that area hospitals struggle to recruit and train qualified workers, including nurses, medical assistants, and lab technicians, particularly those who are bilingual. The labor union reported that only 7.8 percent of New York City’s registered nurses are Latino, yet this ethnic group accounts for 28 percent of the City’s population. Community health centers will need many more workers who can help patients lead healthier lives.
Providing high-quality health care to New Yorkers depends on a skilled workforce. The Alliance will link hospitals, community health centers, and nursing homes to training organizations that can deliver qualified workers.
Bronx resident Dionne Layne Morales had been babysitting and tutoring in her home, but wanted to work in a senior citizens’ residential facility in a job with better pay and a chance for advancement. She sought training to become a certified nurse’s aide. An eight-week program at Hostos Community College, one of the first training programs of the Alliance, offered her a flexible schedule and financial aid for books and tuition.
Job seekers can enroll in this short program offering first-level certification. To progress further, they can take additional classes, learning to draw blood and administer electrocardiogram tests, requirements for most hospitals. For some, the ultimate goal is becoming a licensed practical nurse or registered nurse. The Alliance expects to place 320 in jobs by the end of 2012.